What were the effects of the Renaissance on England?  

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The Renaissance ultimately became a European movement, but it had its roots in Italy. Education thrived in Italy's rich urban centers, and Italian thinkers sought to rediscover the glory of ancient Roman and Greek civilizations. The Renaissance had a belated—but important—impact on England, especially in literature and music. England did...

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The Renaissance ultimately became a European movement, but it had its roots in Italy. Education thrived in Italy's rich urban centers, and Italian thinkers sought to rediscover the glory of ancient Roman and Greek civilizations. The Renaissance had a belated—but important—impact on England, especially in literature and music. England did not match the great artistic achievements of Italy, however.

One way that the Renaissance was influential in England was through Petrarch's (1304–c. 1374) writings. Petrarch was one of the fathers of modern Italian, just as Shakespeare would become a father of modern English. Petrarch's vernacular poems had a counterpart in Shakespeare's vernacular plays. Petrarch's style also influenced his illustrious, latter-day English counterpart. Also, Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343–1400), an important English poet and author, was impressed by Petrarch.

Thomas More, author of Utopia (1516) was heavily influenced by the Renaissance. More was a close friend of Desiderius Erasmus (c. 1469–1536). Born in Holland, the brilliant Erasmus was probably the leading non-Italian figure of the Renaissance.

Edmund Spenser (c. 1552–1599) was an extraordinary English poet. His poems were inspired by literary innovations popularized in Renaissance Italy.

The music of sixteenth-century England was also shaped by the Renaissance. William Byrd (1543–1623) is best known for his work on the English madrigal.

In summary, England's literature and music were the main beneficiaries of the Renaissance.

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